Texas had been said to be the favorite to add Mike Napoli, another right-handed power hitter who’d presumably step in at first base and/or DH. But those talks haven’t proceeded as quickly as had seemed likely; per Heyman, the Rangers and Napoli aren’t quite seeing eye to eye on a deal.
That seems to have opened up at least some space for the Rangers to consider alternatives. Trumbo, who’ll turn 31 in a few days, is significantly younger than the 35-year-old Napoli. That had led to expectations that he’d be able to land a lengthier contract, though at present there’s no indication of long-term interest on the market. Of course, despite his prodigious power output — including a league-leading 47 bombs in 2016 — Trumbo also lags Napoli in on-base ability with a career .303 mark. And while the former is theoretically capable of playing the outfield, he has never drawn strong reviews for his glovework on the grass.
Trumbo remains the top unsigned player on MLBTR’s top 50 free agent list. But it’s fair to wonder whether the Rangers are looking mostly for a chance at a relative bargain by opening up a dialogue with his representatives. That’s the course the team pursued last year with Ian Desmond — who required the sacrifice of a draft choice, as would Trumbo — and Texas has shown little inclination to hand out major, long-term contracts this winter. The Rangers hold what’s currently the 26th choice in the 2017 draft.